what should i plant around my pond

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by blk90s13, May 10, 2008.

  1. blk90s13

    blk90s13 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,453

  2. Newt*

    Newt* LawnSite Member
    Messages: 182

    The 'pavers' are segmental retaining wall blocks and should have caps. If the wall is tall enough you would be able to use it for seating. If you think the look is too formal then remove them.

    Do you know your hardiness zone? NJ has hardiness zones 5 to 7. If not you can use this zip code zone finder.

    As for the plants, it appears that you have a full sun site. That would be sun of 6 hours or more. True?

    Do you want a formal or informal look? Are you a gardener or do you need plants with good garden manners that won't seed all over the place? Have you looked at pics of ponds on the net and found any you like the looks of? If so I'd love to see them to get an idea of the look you like. If not I can give you some to look at and see what you think.

  3. blk90s13

    blk90s13 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,453

    You are in USDA zone is: 7

    I am looking to do some plants with the least attention possible plants that would come back every spring and that wont be tall to block view from the backyard looking towards the pond

    should I fill in with mulch ? should I put down a weed control sheet ?

    I did look at some pond pictures seems like stones is the common thing to do :(

    http://www.rainbird.com/drip/driptips/images/harmony-step1.jpg would this look ok there ? with a little less crowd I dont like the crowded beds
  4. Newt*

    Newt* LawnSite Member
    Messages: 182

    I know I'm in zone 7. It would help to know your zone and how much sun the site gets.

    If you don't put down mulch you will have more and more weeds. I don't think you'll need a weed block but let's see what I can come up with. I really need to know how much sun the bed gets.

  5. blk90s13

    blk90s13 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,453

    I am in zone 7 and it gets about 4 hours of afternoon sun
  6. Newt*

    Newt* LawnSite Member
    Messages: 182

    I found some articles about edging the pond and the coping at Water Garden Magazine.

    I'm getting the impression you want a 'clean' look that isn't busy with lots of different plants and for it to be simple. Take a look at these pictures to see if I'm on the right track. These first few pics are ponds done by DIY'ers.

    Here there is a heavy use (pardon the pun) of rocks with a few plants for accent.

    Here's another example with just a few flowers.

    To me this would be heaven!

    Here the grass comes up to the edge of the pond in a couple of places. It also looks like they have problems with birds taking their fish. The plantings are very simple.

    Click on the last 3 pics on the bottom right of the page.

    The following ponds are professionally done. Another simple pond with lots of different sized rocks and few plants. Two views. In the second picture note the sweep of yellow daylilies on the left behind the pond and repeated at the steps. That is the concept I am going to suggest to you. It will be less busy but a sweep of one plant will keep weeds at a minimum and give some substance to the planting bed. This is done with odd numbers of plants.

    The taller plants are in the back here.

    I like the use of low growing groundcover here. It's not busy but covers the ground, not allowing alot of room for weeds to take hold, hence less maintenance.

    Very simply done here.

    I like the way the edges are done here.

    Nice and simple. Is this too sparse with plants for you?

    Another simple design.

    Taller plants in the rear but simple.

    I love the use of groundcover here in the foreground. It appears to be a creeping thyme.

    I like this mix of plants, but it may be too busy for you. It certainly covers the soil, hence less weeding.

    Too sparse?

    You could add some type of bench. I also like the sweep of yellowish color in two places.

    To left of center here you'll see a small sweep of spiked leaved plants. To right of center a low growing groundcover. Great ideas.

    Here are all of the above pics and more. Feel free to drool.

    These plant recommendations are for planting in the ground and not in the water. For your situation I would suggest plants that have good garden manners and grow in clumps.

    For something to weep over the water in a shady spot consider Hakonechloa. It's a Japanese woodland grass that will spread into a lovely clump and has that 'wow' factor. There are now several cultivars offering different shades of variegation. Here's a large clump near a small pond. There are Japanese or Siberian iris in the background. The Siberian iris do well in part shade and grow in a lovely clump. Carefree. Be sure to click on the pics at the second site.

    Here it is with some large leafed variegated hostas to the left and solid green one to the lower right. The hostas would be another great choice for you.

    Here is the entire page the above pic comes from and talks about repeating colors. You can click on the pics for the plant names and a larger view.

    Do read the first post here about the different behaviors of the different cultivars of Hakonechloa. You'll want one that isn't too vigorous or it will spread out too much. It's not invasive, but some grow larger in width then others. It's a fantastic grass for the shade. Scroll down a couple of posts to see more photos of it.

    Here's growing info and closeups.
    Hakonechloa macra 'Aureola'

    Hakonechloa macra 'Albo Striata'

    Hakonechloa macra 'All Gold'

    Hakonechloa macra - this version is all green.

    You can see an assortment of colors and sizes of clumps here.

    If that is too bold for you there are several types of sedges that will give you a similar effect in part sun. Some are runners and some are clumpers. I'm only including the clumpers here for easier maintenance.
    Carex dolichostachya 'Kaga Nishiki'

    Carex conica 'Snowline' ('Variegata')

    Carex elata 'Aurea' aka Carex elata 'Bowles' Golden' will get tall.

    Carex hachijoensis 'Evergold' not the greatest pic. The second one is a better pic of what it really looks like.

    Carex morrowii 'Goldband' The second site is a better pic.

    Bleeding heart aka Dicentra spectabilis or fringed bleeding heart aka Dicentra exima would be a good choice. The fringed bleeding heart will keep it's leaves longer into fall. Dicentra spectabilis aka bleeding heart will often disappear with summer heat, only to reappear next spring. Comes in pink or white. One clump can form a nice colony over time.

    Hostas come in many, many leaf sizes, plant sizes and leaf colors.

    If you think you might like to add ferns to the shadier areas, this site has a nice list of natives.

    My favorite would be one of the Maidenhair ferns. Adiantum pedatum aka Northern Maidenhair fern. This native fern would look stunning planted near the larger leaves of hostas.

    Even better would be Adiantum capillus-veneris aka Southern maidenhair fern aka common maidenhair fern planted near the water. This wouldn't be evergreen or a groundcover for you really, but just something lovely to dress up an area.

    Japanese painted fern is another favorite fern. It looks great with dark colored leaves of other plants. It's colorful but not gaudy. There are new named varieties these days and some are very silver in color, like the second link.

    Here it's paired with the dark purple foliage of Cimicifuga 'Brunette' and the green shades of Astilbe.

    Here it's mixed with a coral bells called Heuchera ‘Obsidian’. I wish the picture was larger.

    For the sunnier areas consider Heuchera aka coral bells. You can accent your light colored leaf plants or your darker leafed ones. There are so many these days it's difficult to choose just one. These would look great in a sweep of color.

    You will also see Heucherella at the Terranova site. It's a cross between two natives - Heuchera (coral bells) and Tiarella (foam flower). It's sterile, doesn't produce seeds and doesn't do well in less then pampered conditions. So don't even bother with them.

    Siberian iris grows happily in my garden with little sun. It's probably the most carefree plant I have. I rescued a large clump from a house that was going to be torn down. They were growing next to a dried up tiny pond in full shade. Mine are dark purple.
    http://greengrasslandscape.com/photogallery/Iris sibirica 'Caesar's Brother'.jpg

    I can think of many more, but I'd like to know if I'm on the right track here. Sorry for the delay in getting back to you.

  7. blk90s13

    blk90s13 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,453

    The Hakonechloa does have the WOW effect and it will be my first choice along with some hostas ( couple of diffrent leaves sizes ) and Southern Maidenhair Fern to cover the tree then a couple of Siberian iris for the back side

    I cant thank you enough of such great info and ideas hope its nice out tomorow so I can start the new project

  8. lzrj

    lzrj LawnSite Member
    Messages: 245

    Well, since NEWT gave you everything already, I will throw in my little opinion. Got to have some Hostas around the area of that big tree. Ferns are very attractive as well. I got a lot of good ideas as well for my 50'x50' farm type pond I just had dug. I will be posting pics of it soon in the pond forum. Good post. Great reply NEWT.
  9. Newt*

    Newt* LawnSite Member
    Messages: 182

    Mo, you are so very welcome. I truly enjoyed the time spent looking for all those pictures and now I'm motivated to think about a pond for me. I'd love to see pics when you're done or even as you go along.

    Lzrj, thanks for the compliment, but it looks like great minds think alike. I love the hosta and fern combo. Thanks for mentioning the pond forum. I never noticed it! Go figure. I stopped by and found some really good posts.

  10. blk90s13

    blk90s13 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,453

    Finaly got around to plant around the pond also installed some mulch and man does it look good ?

    I am waiting for a nice sunny day to take some pictures and show off hehe

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